The Expressive Creatrix (and Hobbyist)

{April 27, 2011}   A Nearly Perfect Day

Today is my birthday, and I must say, it’s been truly wonderful.  No big parties.  No surprises.  No expensive gifts.  The treasure of the day, the gift I received, was the gift of time well spent.  Really, is there anything better? 

I took the day off work.  I always take my birthday off work.  Why spend my one uniquely special day of the year at a job which, quite frankly, I don’t necessarily love?  I slept in a bit.  Not too much.  For me, early morning is the very sweetest part of the day.  I got up and hit my workout room for part one of my workout – cardio.  Today I chose rebounding.  (Yes, as it is now not cool to call “running,” “jogging,” it is no longer acceptable to call a “rebounder” a “mini trampoline.  What’s the diff?)  I didn’t have a lot of time before the family was up, and I wanted something somewhat intense.  Rebounding fit the bill.  I did Urban Rebounding Advanced, and honestly, I don’t always have fun during Urban Rebounder workouts, but today’s session did have me laughing and having fun.  Thirty-five minutes later, I had a nice sweat going, and felt pleasantly worked out, particularly in my legs and core. 

After the kids and Scott, who all greeted me with smiles and birthday wishes when they got up, left, it was back down for the second part of my workout – my beloved Metamorphosis Hipcentric muscular structure work.  I’m on day 2 of Level 7, and yeah, it’s very intense.  But, as with all things Tracy Anderson, intense doesn’t necessarily mean brutal.  I work my ass off while doing them, but Tracy’s workouts always make me feel good.  I’m feeling so much stronger since starting my Meta rotation in February. 

After a Pomegranate Strawberry Smoothie (part of my Flat Belly Diet, of course) for breakfast, a quick cruise through my on-line hangouts to check in with my buds, and a shower, I was on the road to St. Cloud (a nearby bigger city).  Just driving along the freeway with some music blaring, I was feeling really good. Am I the only one who belts out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” at the top of her lungs when alone in a car – even when I can’t sign for crap??  I always feel like a rock start when I sing that song. 

My first stop was the LYS (knit speak for “local yarn store”).  Bonnie’s Spinning Wheel in St. Cloud is a nice, homey place.  I had only been there once before, and Bonnie, the owner, was busy with a gaggle of knitters so I didn’t get to talk to her much, but I really enjoyed browsing and touching all that gorgeous yarn!  (Plus on that first visit I picked up two skeins of Malabrigo yarn, and I didn’t even know it was considered really great yarn. I just liked it. I still have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  I’m saving it for just the right thing.)  Today, after a brief wait, I was able to spend time with Jackie, one of the employees.  Jackie very graciously helped me pick out some beautiful yarn for the summer wrap I want to start soon (some Mini Mochi sock yarn in an awesome colorway), she answered a question I had about another pattern for a project I also want to start soon, and she looked at the sock currently on my needles. I turned my first heel last night, and something ended up not quite right.  Jackie took a look, explained how I could fix it without frogging, and then gladly ripped it (frogged) it back for me to the end of the heel flap when I told her I really wanted to go back and do it again.  Partially frogging a project scares me because I can’t ever get all the stitches back on the needle.  Jackie showed me how to do it.  I will stilll have fear the next time I try, but hopefully I’ll have a bit more confidence.

So, 50-some dollars and almost two hours later (three skeins of the yarn, a set of bamboo US 7 straights, and a few little goodies), and I was on my way.  I didn’t know Jackie before, and I was grateful for the gift of her time in helping me out.  She even asked me to come back in and show her the wrap when I was done with it.  I will definitely do that.  I made a quick stop at Crafts Direct to pick up a few knitting doo-dads which I knew were cheaper there, and then it was off for lunch.

My dear friend, Christi, and I have a tradition of meeting in a town about halfway between each of our houses for lunch on or near our birthdays.  We both had the day off, so today was the day!  How fun to do it on my actual birthday.  We had a delicious lunch and Noodles & Company and spent an hour and a half visiting.  Christi gifted me with a gift certificate to Bonnie’s.  Joy!  Now I have a reason to go back!

Arriving back at home, I spent some time looking at the birthday cards I had received in the mail, and opening some presents from friends/neighbors.  I also talked on the phone to all who called to wish me a happy day, and responded to some texts. 

I then spent 35 minutes hooping, and I’m so happy to say that I returned to attempting a trick I had given up on last fall when I was still hooping intensely.  A vertical step through to the side was proving difficult for me then.  I could get it okay stepping to the right, but not at all to the left.  Today I discovered I can do it both ways!  It’s not totally smooth yet, but wow!  I’m impressed that I made progress without even working on it.  Sometimes really delightful stuff like that happens.  It made me smile.  Hooping, lately, has brought me a lot of joy.  I’m not so obsessive with it, and I think I’m just finally relaxing into it and just being with it. 

After some blissful hooping, I moved on to some feel-good yoga ((Sara Ivanhoe’s Zen Yoga from FitTV).  Ahhh, 45 minutes of work and stretch.  It was so nice. Yoga in infrequent doses is best for me.  It’s like I appreciate it more and put more of myself into it, with proportionate results.  I feel really happy and content after a yoga session now.

This evening?  I’m just spending a quiet night at home with the kids.  Scott is at a meeting, and as soon as I sign off and call my mother-in-law to wish her a happy birthday (yes, we share the same birthday – just 20 years apart!), I am going to happily curl up in my chair and knit to my heart’s content.  This time I’ll turn that heel perfectly!

So, yeah, just a really, really nice day.  Time well spent makes me happy.


{March 16, 2011}   Ebbs and Flows

I posted this at Hoop City today in my hoopDANCERS group, and I thought it would be good to post here as well.  Just random thoughts on the status of things, the weather, etc. 

I’ve been so MIA from Hoop City for the past few months, and actually, for the past few weeks, I’ve been kind of MIA from the hoop as well.  Does anyone ever have that happen?  I think I stayed away from Hoop City just to give myself some breathing space. I’m active on a few on-line forums (videofitness, the historical fiction group at and Hoop City), plus I lurk around a few other on-line discussion groups (Ravelry and some other knitting sites), and cruise some blogs here and there. I sometimes get to the point where I feel like I spend way too much time in the virtual world and not enough time being present in the real one.  You know?  I mean, often it’s almost as much fun to talk about hooping as it is to hoop, but sometimes I catch myself doing it and I wonder, “Really?  Why are you sitting here reading/talking about something you could be actually doing?”  LOL! (And yes, it is like that with all hobbies!  If I can’t actually be working out, reading, hooping or knitting, being on-line discussing or reading about those things (it seems weird that I read about reading!) is the next best thing. Plus it’s fun to have dialogue with like-minded individuals!)

 I also find I ebb and flow with things. I have many interests and some are in the front and center at times, holding my attention, and others are on the back burner.  Then something will shift them around again.  LOL!  I was obsessively hooping (especially with my minis) late last fall and earlier this winter, but in February I started a new fitness program, and I’ve been absolutely distracted and enthralled with that.  My knitting has also been holding my attention.  Hooping and reading have temporarily faded into the background. 

However, spring is in the air, and I sense a shift coming.  Soon it’ll be time to be outside – hooping and reading!  Reading is much nicer to do in the hot sun than holding wool in my lap while knitting! And I think after being constrained for a long while with my indoor hooping space, I’m starting to feel stifled. I need to get out and hoop where I have some vertical space! 

And finally, this time of year in Minnesota is not my favorite. I really dislike March.  Eveything is in limbo. It’s not quite winter anymore, but it’s not quite spring either.  Everything seems suspended in time.  Winter lingers and hems and haws about going, spring is hesitant to really spring.  Everything seems just blah.  Hard to explain, but I always feel kind of restless and a bit dissatisfied with things this time of year.  As the weather can’t make up it’s mind, I feel like I can’t make my mind up about what to do or what to let intrigue me. I feel kind of blah myself.  Soon, however, full on spring will be here.  Once the snow is gone, the grass starts perking up and the buds appear on the trees, I’ll be just fine!

So, maybe I’ll hoop tonight.  Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you’re in a hoop funk it’s best just to lay the hoop aside and not worry about, but sometimes if you just pick up the hoop and force yourself to play with it, your mood can suddenly shift?  Time permitting, I’ll give the latter option a whirl tonight!  Then again, I’ve got two new dance videos I want to check out, a new knitting book to cruise for patterns (maybe I’ll finally find a nice, easy project to use to break into knitting in the round), the new dishrag I started last night (in a “circular cloth” pattern that is completely enthralling me – it’s like a technical marvel – it’s something that I’ll knit and then go, “Whoa!  I can’t believe I actually MADE that!!!”) is practically screaming at me from home (I’m at work now) to hurry home and get back to it, and I’ve been promising myself I’d spend some time learning some more combos from either Tracy Anderson’s Dance Aerobics or Dance Cardio ’07.

Aaaargghh!  I guess another thing adding to my ebb and flow deal is TIME!  I need more of it!

{January 13, 2011}   I’m Posting Everyday In 2011!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

et cetera